Apple Music competitor Spotify today announced that it is greatly expanding its video offerings this year. As noted by Bloomberg, Spotify will launch 12 original video series with actors like Tim Robbins and Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons. The series are said to each feature episodes ranging from a few minutes long to 15 minutes and will be available to free and paid users.
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All of the series are said to focus on music, but in different fashions. “Landmark,” for instance, is a series in which each episode will focus on a “significant moment in music history.” So far, Spotify has shot two episodes for Landmark, one of which focuses on the Beach Boys album “Pet Sounds” and the other on Metallica.
Another one of the 12 series is produced by All Def Digital and called “Rush Hour.” This one is described as starring two hip-hop artists that are forced to “conceive a musical collaboration that they must perform before a crowd.” The pilot of this show was shot earlier this year at South by Southwest.
For “phase two” of its video efforts, Spotify will apparently focus on “comedy and animation series tailored to the service’s young audience,” although work on these efforts have not yet started.
Spotify’s video efforts are being spearheaded by its content partnerships chief Tom Calderone. In an interview, Calderone said that music will always be most important, but noted that Spotify users always want more content:
“Music will always be most important, but our audience likes us and wants more from us. We have to figure out a second act, and I think it will come out of video. The idea is to make sure users know they can come here for something other than playlists.”
Also today, Spotify VP Jonathan Forster said in an interview that Spotify growth has quickened since the launch of Apple Music last year. This statement comes on the heels of Apple announcing that there are now 13 million paying Apple Music subscribers (via Reuters).
“It’s great that Apple is in the game. They are definitely raising the profile of streaming. It is hard to build an industry on your own,” Forster said. “Since Apple Music started we’ve been growing quicker and adding more users than before.”
Spotify has 30 million paying subscribers at this point, more than double that of Apple Music.
Seeing that Apple is also reportedly planning a foray into original video series, it seems like the streaming service race is really starting to heat up. Additionally, Apple is prepping a redesigned Music app for WWDC that should put more pressure on Spotify.